Blacko brothers in marathon cycle ride to Italy

James Dent along with his brother John who are cycling from London to Florence for Cancer Research.
James Dent along with his brother John who are cycling from London to Florence for Cancer Research.

Two Blacko brothers will don their cycling gear again next month for another mammoth charity bike ride abroad.

James Dent (27), of Malkin Close, Blacko, and his architect brother John (29), who lives in London, are cycling 1,100 miles from the capital to Florence in Italy all within a 10-day period under the banner VeLoFlo.

The Dents will be in a peloton of 22 cyclists who will leave London’s Leadenhall Street on Friday, May 30th, cycling down to Portsmouth where they will cross the English Channel to France and set off from St Malo on day two.

The group then journeys across Brittany, through the Loire Valley into the Massif Central in mid-France before skirting south of Lyon and into the foothills of the Alps by the end of day six.

From there, day seven is the shortest but toughest day of the 10, as the 22-strong group tackle the famous 21 bends of the 6,102ft. Alpe d’Huez and then take on the daunting 8,678ft Col du Galibier, the scene of the highest ever summit finish of the Tour de France in 2011.

Then there’s just the small matter of the Col du Lautaret at 6,752ft if the cyclists’ were not tired enough already.

After another hard day in the Alps on day eight, the group reaches undulating north west Italy, weaving down the Italian Riviera on day nine and then into Tuscany for the Florence finish on day 10.

In 2012, James and John were part of a team which cycled 1,000 miles from London to Barcelona but this is expected to be much harder.

James said: “This year is going to be very tough. I don’t think I really know what I’ve let myself in for with this but I love a challenge.

“I’ve been trying to get a few longer rides in but there’s not much preparation you can do in this area for the Alps. I think there will be a lot of pain for all of us during the mountain days.

“There’s 22 of us doing the ride so there will be plenty of support for each other and if one group wants to go faster than the other then we can ride in two groups.

“We’re raising money for three charities, Cancer Research UK, Alzheimer’s Research UK and Architecture for Humanity, and we’re aiming for £50,000.”

Sponsorship of all amounts is welcome as well as the opportunity for businesses or individuals to sponsor cycling kit.

Contact James Dent via Twitter at @jimmy_dent or visit for more information.